Revolutionary War

266,274 Musket Cartridges

Did you know that was the number of musket cartridges surrendered by the Crown forces at Yorktown in October of 1781? Someone counted them. In fact, someone counted all of the cannon balls, muskets, swords, flags, and every other piece of equipment surrendered at Yorktown. And why not? You capture an army, and all of its equipment, well, someone has to count everything to see what you have.

Accounting for an army, debits and credits. Debits were the items given out from stores to various units, and credits were the items that were turned in.

On October 8th, General Knox picked up a ream of writing paper.

It rained on the night of October 8-9th. And things got wet and were no longer usable. On October 9th, the artillery brigade turned in 350 damaged musket cartridges (probably from the rain) and Colonel Alexander Scammel’s detachment turned in 1016 damaged cartridges.  

On October 13th, Colonel Ebenezer Stevens obtained a 2-foot rule.

And on October 19th, the United States received 266,274 musket cartridges. Fortunately for us, this record is preserved in the National Archives.